Are The New Handicapped Parking Spaces Bad For Business In Downtown Hot Springs?

Warm Springs, VA – At Tuesday night’s Bath Board of Supervisors meeting, local businessman Pat Haynes addressed the Board about the two new handicapped spaces in front of the drug store. Those two spaces were created when the Board of Supervisors passed a resolution in April after hearing from handicapped citizens who had problems finding parking when going to the drug store.

Haynes said he understands one space being there, but could not justify two spaces. He said the handicapped parking spaces are strangling his business. He said that since the new spaces went in, trucks can’t park in front of the ABC store for deliveries. He also said that drug store customers are parking at his convenience store and at other businesses, taking away parking for customers of those businesses.

County Planning and Zoning Administrator Sherry Ryder said she has had numerous complaints about the handicapped spaces, with people asking why there are two of them. Supervisor Jon Trees said this parking issue is a dilemma. He wants businesses to flourish but also wants the elderly and physically challenged to have easy access.

He suggested the Board ask the State Legislature to amend the code to allow handicapped parking in those spaces only during certain hours. That way handicapped parking would only be in effect when the drug store was open. After discussion, the Board voted to remove one of the handicapped parking spaces. In addition, the regular parking spaces from there to the front of the post office will be designated as 15 minute parking, from 9am until 6pm.

Also on Tuesday night, the Board voted to spend $64,000.00 to make repairs to the holding pond at the Mountain Crest Retirement Home. Supervisor Percy Nowlin said the pond presents a safety issue and that South River Development, who owns and manages the property, won’t acknowledge the problem. Supervisor Carol Hardbarger said the Board has no alternative but to make the repairs. She said the county will be liable if someone gets hurt, but the county and retirement home commission have no right to sue South River.

Supervisor Jon Trees said the issue with the pond is an engineering problem and it is not the county’s responsibility to fix someone else’s mistake. He suggested maybe state or federal authorities could look at the pond and force South River to repair it. The motion to make the repair passed on a vote of three to one, with Supervisor Trees opposed. Supervisor Stuart Hall did not attend Tuesday night’s meeting.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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